CHURCH OR DUMP?
One day in the late 80's my girlfriend of the time and I were driving around the backroads of the Catskills, taking a weekend break from the art and music world of the East Village. I piloted the 1972 Caddy around a curve and came upon an old overgrown farm under a large expanse of sky. The fence lines were falling down and milk weed and swamp had taken over the pastures. Deer were everywhere. As I slowed down we both stared at the beautiful property. As I counted deer my girlfriend pulled on my sleeve. "Check this out." she said, cocking her head across the road to the right. There stood the future home of the CLGM.
The lock was off the door. We went in. The place was a wet, musty mess. You could see daylight through the roof and the foundation stones were squeezing out under the weight of disrepair. I was in love. We rummaged through the crap and at some point I lifted up a framed certificate. Wiping off the dust from the glass, I read the name- Osterhout.
Yesterday I went to the dump. The past couple of weeks I've been gutting the front of the shul. I've been pulling down loose plaster, removing old rug and scrapping and washing the floor.....over and over. I had a full pickup truck of old paneling and rug. As I unloaded all the debris a big biker type, with a lot of tattoos did the same in the pickup next to me. I glanced over at his junk and spotted a ratty mount of a standing bear. I recognized that bear. "Are you from Mountaindale?" I asked the guy. He said he was. I told him I had spotted his bear outside his garage months ago and had almost stopped and asked if he was throwing it out. He said he was moving to Virginia and was cleaning out his place, and that I was welcome to the bear.
I cradled the mount and loaded into my truck. Just as I was ready to leave the biker dude tossed another garbage bag on his pile and said "I was gonna drop it off at The Church of the Little Green Man, but decided on the dump." I couldn't believe my ears. At first I thought he recognized my truck and was fucking with me. But when I told him that the CLGM was mine, his reaction was genuine. He had no idea who I was. I introduced my self as we both smiled broadly. He said his wife was never going to believe him. His name is Chris. I guess some things are just left up to fate. Next time any of you are ready to throw out your old bear mounts please consider the CLGM before the dump. My collection has just started.